Bill to Rein in Cuccinelli Moves Forward on Bipartisan Vote

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    I’m amazed this got any Republican support (Thomas Norment voted “aye”), and I doubt that will happen in the House of Delegates, but for now, let’s celebrate! Let’s also thank Chap Petersen (whose press release is below) and Donald McEachin for their work in reining in “the Cooch” from his crazed witch hunt against science and scientists.

    Senate Courts of Justice Committee Passes Bill Limiting Attorney General’s Authority to Issue Civil Investigative Demands

    Richmond – Yesterday at the Capitol, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 11-4 to pass SB 831, a bill protecting Virginia’s higher education institutions by limiting the investigative powers of the Attorney General in “matters of academic research and inquiry.” Sponsored by Senator J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax City), the bill received bipartisan support in committee. It will be voted on by full Senate later this week.

    The need for such a bill was occasioned by the Attorney General’s continuing investigation of the University of Virginia, where professor Michael Mann had been researching and writing on the subject of climate change. That investigation has led to prolonged litigation between the University and the Attorney General.

    Senator Petersen stresses the importance of academic freedom in describing the need for his bill: “We have numerous legal issues in the Commonwealth which require the attention of the people’s lawyer, the Attorney General,” explains Senator Petersen. “We don’t need him sorting through the trash cans of our university professors in order to foment litigation.”

    The legislation incorporated Senate Bill 1314, which was filed by Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico).

    • kindler

      …that Repubs need to rein in Cooch on this too, or else his awful precedent can be used someday by a future overzealous liberal AG against a conservative academic.

      Yes, conservatives have a stake in free academic inquiry too, and they would be damn fools to follow Cooch off the cliff.  Kudos to Sen. Norment, and don’t be surprised if others follow his lead.

      And of course, thanks again to the Dems with the courage to challenge and restrain Cooch’s dangerous overreach.